How can I extract data from a fillable .pdf file

Posted on 2009-02-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We will be receiving a large number of .pdf files that have been filled in and emailed to one of my users.  Is there a way for me to take all the .pdfs and extract the data from the fillable fields into something like an excel spreadsheet?
Question by:kwylie
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Did you look in the help file?  Or are you only running Acrobat Reader?
    First step, contact the person who created the fillable form.
    If not available, you need to buy a license for the full version of Acrobat.

    From the help file: (v9.0)

    --Collect user data
    After a user submits a form, open the returned form.
    In the Add Completed Form To Responses File dialog box, select one of the following:
    Add To An Existing Responses File Compiles the data in the response file that was created when you used the Distribute Form wizard to send out the form. (If necessary, click Browse and locate the response file.)
    Create A New Responses File Creates a new response file, using the name and location you specify.
    The response file opens after you click OK. Each returned form added to the response file appears as a component file of a PDF Portfolio.

    --Compile form data
    In Acrobat, choose Forms > Compile Returned Forms.
    In the Compile Data dialog box, do one of the following to select a PDF response file:
    Click Browse, and then locate and select the response file.
    Type the path to the response file.
    Click Add File, and navigate to the returned form.
    Repeat the previous step as many times as necessary to add more returned forms.
    After you click OK, the data from the selected forms is added to the response file. Each returned form appears as a component file of a PDF Portfolio.

    --Export user data from a response file

    Use this process to save all the entries in a PDF Portfolio response file to a spreadsheet or XML file.

    In Acrobat, open the response file and select the data to export.
    In the left navigation panel, click Export.
    In the Select Folder To Save File dialog box, specify a name, location, and file format (CSV or XML) for the form data, and click Save.

    Author Closing Comment

    We are using Adobe Professional, but it is version 6.  Still, I was able to get what I needed.  Thanks.

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